Packing for your winter break – one essential item not to forget!

So the summer holiday season is over and now you’re thinking of heading off for a winter break in a country hotel, or maybe even jetting off to some far flung beach for some winter sun?

Who doesn’t love the idea of long walks in the countryside and returning to a drink by a roaring log fire or lying on a sun drenched beach, cocktail in hand while temperatures in the UK plummet and people mutter darkly about the annual return of the ‘thermal vest’?

Pack your bags – it’s time to fly!

Your bag is packed you’re ready to go – now be honest, hands up if you give even a passing thought to whether there will be a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your hotel room? No? Didn’t think so.

Obviously we’re in the safety business so inevitably it is something we think about; our chosen charity – the Katie Haines Memorial Trust – is a stark reminder. Katie died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning just weeks after returning from her honeymoon, and yet even WE don’t cover some of the basics ourselves. We’re complacent because we don’t really want to think about it and we hope that others will think about our safety instead, because we ‘presume’ they have a ‘responsibility to do so.’

 

Cost Cutting Costs Lives

The harsh truth is that hotels and holiday companies will cut corners; they are being squeezed to provide more ‘experience’ for less money – just look at poor old Monarch Airlines. So what gives eventually? The hidden bits of a trip – the unregulated health and safety perhaps? The missing carbon monoxide alarms?

Almost every day there are reports of landlords, hotel owners, apartment managers and facilities managers who have failed in their duties to provide these basic safety items, but by the time the report makes it into the public arena, it’s usually too late, someone has lost their life.

Here are just two stories, both posted within a few weeks of us writing this article:

  1. British School Children Narrowly Escape Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Spanish Hotel – 21 September 2017
  2. Fire Crews Rescue Two Women After Oil Burner Leaks Carbon Monoxide – 29 Sept 2017

Luckily in these two cases no life was lost but for those where the outcome was not so good, it seems tragic that for the sake of £30 (or less) they could have been protected with an alarm that would have detected and alerted them to the odourless, tasteless, invisible killer that is carbon monoxide. The killer that can travel through walls and leach out of appliances such as boilers, Agas, open fires, wood burning stoves etc. So please, buy one today, keep it in your suitcase and take it with you every time you stay away from home.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Children on the Rise

Worryingly, Project SHOUT, set up by Stacey Rogers whose son Dominic (10) died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning when fumes permeated through the wall of his bedroom from a neighbouring property, has reported that cases of children arriving at A&E suffering from the effects of CO poisoning have risen dramatically. On a more positive note, we are delighted to hear that MP’s have been asking for a Carbon Monoxide detector to be fitted in every home recently and await the outcome with great hope.

Mum’s The Word

I was delighted to receive an email from a friend who is a Mum recently – she reported her story as follows:

Dear Louise

 I thought you’d like to hear this conversation I had with my son last week; he is 22 and just moved to London, sharing a house with four friends from Uni.

 Me: Have you unpacked your Carbon Monoxide Alarm I gave you?

Him: Funny you should say that. One of my house mates asked me if we had one and I said ‘Yes, my Mum gave me one last week’. My mate said ‘it must be a Mum thing, my Mum’s been nagging me to get one as well’!

 Mother power!”

Give the gift of life

Whoever you are reading this – a Mum, Dad, friend, neighbour, daughter or son, sister or brother, or just someone who cares, please could you add something to your shopping list? Whether it’s on this week’s groceries shop, a birthday gift or perhaps a friend heading off on holiday, please give A CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM. Go on…it might just save a life (and remember you need one PER appliance, i.e. boiler, Aga, open fire, wood burning stove, NOT one per house).

Where to buy your Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Plenty of places sell the alarms, your local hardware store or, for the more ‘do it now’ amongst us, you can buy them online from:

  • Argos
  • Amazon
  • Homebase
  • Or ask your local Wilkins Chimney Sweep to bring one and install it for you.

We wish you, and your new Carbon Monoxide alarm a safe winter break!

Louise Harris

Franchise Director

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Wilkins Chimney Sweep
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